Orlando Pirates lose to Mamelodi Sundowns
Posted: 8 February 2014 Time: 19:27
Hlompho Kekana scored a magnificent goal to help Mamelodi Sundowns to a 1-0 win over Orlando Pirates in a Premiership match at the Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
The result sees the Brazilians close to within eight points of log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, while the Buccaneers suffered their first defeat under caretaker coach Eric Tinkler.
Pirates enjoyed most of the possession early in the first-half, but it was Sundowns who looked dangerous in attack, particularly when they broke away on the counter.
In just the third minute Bryce Moon put Khama Billiat in on goal, but the attacker blasted his shot high and wide when he had only goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa to beat.
Three minutes later the Zimbabwean attacker again found himself in a great position near the six-yard box, but his effort across the face of goal was too quick for compatriot Cuthbert Malajila to get onto.
But it was a chance on 17 minutes that really should have seen the Brazilians take the lead. A quick counter attack from a Bucs corner saw Elias Pelembe draw Meyiwa off his line before squaring for Billiat, who shot over the bar when the net was guarded only by a retreating defender.
Sundowns also suffered an early injury blow when Malajila looked to have pulled a hamstring. He was replaced by Rodney Ramagalela in just the 21st minute.
In the opening minute of the second half Billiat was again guilty of missing a great chance. Pelembe provided a perfect cross from the right flank and the Zimbabwean rose highest to meet the header, only to put his effort against the crossbar.
Ten minutes later Billiat was presented with yet another chance after Masuku’s sliced clearance handed the ‘Downs attacker a sight of goal, but he struck the volley over the crossbar.
Yet the Brazilians continued to press forward in search of a goal and it arrived in superb style in the 63rd minute. Teko Moside teed up Kekana, who fired a missile into the back of the net from 25 metres out to put the visitors into a deserved lead with a goal-of-the-season contender.
Pirates very nearly rescued a draw deep in injury time when a defensive error handed Kermit Erasmus a great chance, but the substitute could only direct his shot onto the upright from a few metres out.